Researchers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment are working to improve the knowledge of why the universe is expanding more rapidly. WVU professor Kevin Bandura is part of that research group.

WVU professor’s work on detection of fast radio bursts detailed in Nature

When researchers first began working on the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, they envisioned a radio telescope that would make precise measurements of the acceleration of the Universe to improve the knowledge of why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Instead, it has become ideal for detecting fast radio bursts—radio flashes happening from far outside the Milky Way galaxy.

“The structure of the pulse is expected to tell us about the environment of the source, and is another indication that these are real events,” said West Virginia University Assistant Professor Kevin Bandura.

The CHIME telescope, located in the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Kaleden, British Columbia, is comprised of four cylindrical reflectors, 256 dual-polarized antennas for data collection and an F-Engine and X-Engine for data processing. Bandura, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, played a key role in developing the device’s F-Engine, which digitally processes signals from space into frequencies that can then be processed into digital maps of the Universe.

As reported in the January 9 issue of Nature, the international journal of science, during its pre-commissioning phase CHIME detected 13 FRBs. Prior to this, astronomers, including WVU astronomy professor Duncan Lorimer, had reported between 50-60 examples since they were first detected in 2007.

“Although the CHIME project began before fast radio bursts were even understood it turned out to be a good tool for capturing and measuring them,” Bandura said. “We have the opportunity to be the first to understand what they are.”

The report notes CHIME’s FRB event rate is predicted to be between 2 and 50 FRBs per day.

A second report, also appearing in the Jan. 9 issue of Nature, details that CHIME also detected only the second known FRB that repeats, radio flashes re-appearing at the same point in the sky. According to a previous report, the only other known repeating FRB first appeared in 2012, seeming to originate in a galaxy some 2.5 billion light-years from Earth.

“What is interesting is that we really are seeing many of them and didn’t just get lucky. We still aren’t sure if the repeating events are different from the events we only see once,” said Bandura. “The repeater we see seems to have similar structures to the other known repeater, FRB 121102. With so few events, however, there isn’t a strong statement yet to make.”

Bandura continues to serve as a critical member of the project and participates in analysis of the collected data as it becomes available.



New Buckhannon Parks and Rec Board wants to create more informative signs for local parks

BUCKHANNON – The new City of Buckhannon Parks and Recreation Board wants to make the city’s parks a little more user-friendly as one of its first official orders of business. Mayor Robbie Skinner presented drafts of potential signage during the […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Student public art project back to the drawing board after tests reveal possible issues

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted against approving the placement of a student art project on the sidewalks along the Strawberry Festival parade route after testing the materials involved. Buckhannon-Upshur Middle art teacher Alyssa Murphy previously attended the […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.


Upshur County Sports Calendar

MONDAY (Feb. 6) Basketball TUESDAY (Feb. 7) Basketball Swimming WEDNESDAY (Feb. 8) Basketball Swimming THURSDAY (Feb. 9) Basketball Swimming FRIDAY (Feb. 10) Swimming Wrestling SATURDAY (Feb. 11) Acrobatics and Tumbling Basketball Wrestling SUNDAY (Feb. 12)

WVWC Tennis

Wesleyan men’s tennis opens spring season at UC Invite

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s tennis team saw three doubles wins and five singles wins against defending MEC Champion Charleston in the two-day UC Invite. Day 1 WinnersKevin Lin and Camillo Salvi

Poor second half costs ‘Cats in 73-50 setback to Battlers

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s basketball team were defeated by Alderson Broaddus on the road on Saturday evening 73-50. The Battlers shot 46% from the field and knocked down eight three-pointers in

Lady ‘Cats drop 63-57 road decision to Alderson Broaddus

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan women’s basketball team dropped a crucial MEC matchup on the road to Alderson Broaddus 63-57 on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Bobcats shot 42% from the field but fell



Nearly $400,000 in Historic Preservation Development Grants available

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Applications are now available for matching historic preservation Development Grants through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the Department of Arts, Culture and History. Eligible projects include the restoration, rehabilitation or

This Week in West Virginia History

Charleston, WV – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org. Feb. 5, 1889: Fiddler and self-taught physician James Franklin